Makaya McCraven is a beat scientist. The cutting edge drummer, producer, and sonic collagist is a multi-talented force whose inventive process & intuitive style of performance defy categorization.
Saturday the 9th of July, one of the hottest international jazz acts as of now, Makaya McCraven, will play a midnight concert at Energimølla. Expect unpredictable rythms and sonic soundscapes that defy categorization, as we’re treated to the last gig of Kongsberg Jazzfestival 2022 – a club concert to rule them all!
Born in Paris in 1983, but raised in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts by expatriate musician parents, this was a time and place that afforded him the mentorship of his parents’ community of friends and collaborators, which included jazz luminaries Marion Brown, Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef. McCraven went on to develop his chops in Chicago and now represents a rising generation of globally-minded, genre-bending music makers as an artist as well as band leader. Through his unique, rarified performances and collaborations he unapologetically affirms our right to re-think and re-write the rules, any rules, and affirms other artists in their own exploratory evolutions.
His breakthrough album In the Moment was released with International Anthem Recording Co. (IARC) in January of 2015 and quickly named “Album of the Week” on BBC 6 Radio by influential DJ Gilles Peterson. By the end of the year it was a “Best of 2015” selection for Los Angeles Times, Pop Matters, NPR Music’s Jazz Critics Poll, and Apple Music. In The Moment was a dramatic statement by McCraven, where he debuted a unique brand of “organic beat music” that quickly launched him into the vanguard of not only Internationally-known jazz artists, but also a niche genre of next-wave composer-producers blurring the boundaries of jazz & electronic music.
McCraven stayed close to home to study music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but prioritized the development of his professional music career, and never completed his degree (although he was part of the University Jazz Orchestra and earned various Downbeat student awards). In 2007 he made a move to Chicago, where he immersed himself in the city’s gigging and creative music scenes. He took on as many gigs as he could, whether small, big, or bizarre, and gave music workshops to students from elementary to university level. While music has been in his blood from a young age, he’s been steadily humble & hungry, sure to always be distilling his various learnings and influences into an identity and groove of his own.
McCraven has toured nationally and internationally, and produced 4 critically acclaimed releases as a lead artist in the last 4 years. Yet despite the performances and accolades, McCraven’s focus remains on both creating music and moving the culture forward.